View Full Version : Question about baitcast reels LH

12-08-2011, 11:01 PM
I plan to buy a new baitcast set-up. I generally use spincasters for trolling and casting, but want to broaden my horizons :D

About mid-summer I bought a garage sale special baitcaster with a medium rod that has one of those short pistol grips. I plan to get a 6' or 7' medium-light or light rod with a regular 10-12" grip (my gear has to do double duty: primarily for crappie but able to handle the occasional bass and northern pike).

Here's my question: As a right-hander, am I making a mistake buying a Left-hand reel? I'm much more comfortable with the rod in my right hand and crank in my left. I think my right hand/arm is just more sensitive. I tried getting used to a right-handed baitcaster with my garage sale special but it feels very awkward.

Your thoughts?

12-08-2011, 11:05 PM
I can fish both ways, but prefer the left-handed models. My right hand is stronger and more sensitive. I also have found on schooling fish and fishing the saltwater that you can miss aggrerssive bites while swapping hands. These percentages may seem low, but what if its the fish of a lifetime?

12-09-2011, 04:50 AM
Never owned or used a left hand cranking B/C reel .... nor have I ever had/used a right hand spinning reel. I've just used them for so long, that I just naturally adapt to whichever one I pick up. I started out with rh crank spincast reels, then learned rh crank BC reels ... so switching hands during the cast was no problem, since I had learned to "cast the reel from one hand into the other as the bait was airborne". Fast forward a couple of decades & spinning tackle came into my arsenal. Being so right hand dominant, the lh cranking of the spinning reel posed no problem. I cast everything with the right hand, regardless of which side the handle is on.
The "awkward" feel will fade with time/use. Just think of it as a spinning reel, since you're comfortable with them.

... cp

Sky Pilot
12-09-2011, 09:28 PM
I have used both myself, but having broke my wrist when I was young, I have a hard time setting the hook with the rod in my left hand. I did it for years, but since going to a LH reel, I can fish a lot longer without the pain in my wrist and stomach from jamming my rod into it for leverage. I agree that in time you could do either with no trouble.

PawPaw "gene"
12-10-2011, 08:22 AM
If you're used to fishing with the rod in your right hand, get a LH bait casting reel. Your right hand will have better control on working your bait and you will better feel the thumps and react faster and stronger. Now that said, you can also get used to doing it the other way, but going to a LH reel will make you feel right at home from the beginning.

12-10-2011, 12:45 PM
One of the draw backs to a LH retrive (if you are a RH caster) is the added fatigue in the right arm/hand/etc. The older you get the more noticable it is .. Never had any problems changing hands .. I like to "Palm" the reel on retrive and if you cast & hold the rod in the same hand it is still another move ... By "Palming the Reel" you will get a better center of balance ... holding it by the handle gives you a "Top Heavy" condition .. (That is one of the 2 reasons for the old time "Fore Grips .. The other was to spool the line as you had no level wind) ... But ... what ever turns you on ..


12-10-2011, 03:20 PM
Having a bad left shoulder I have always used LH BC reels and have no trouble with fatigue and casting comfort. I have a couple of Shimano Curado's that are smooth as slik and tough. Also have Ambassadeur's and have had several other brands that while dong the job, weren't smooth like these are. More bearings is the ticket, bite the bullet and buy a reel with as many as you can possibly stretch the budget to afford. Good tools make this job a breeze. Shimano makes a small conventional style salt water tough BC reel called a Calcutta that will take any punishment that you can dish out with minimum care. I know of several that friends used heavily in salt water when I lived in FL that just kept on tickin. Line capacity is the one thing to pay attention to if you will be chasing large fish. I wish that you lived closer, I would make a trip with you and put mine in your hands for a trial run, I personally love mine.

12-12-2011, 11:24 AM
Many thanks for your thoughts and ideas. I was hoping there wasn't a fatal flaw in my plan to use a lefthand reel. Sounds like I'm not the only one doing it!

This was my first summer of regular fishing...feels like it's going to be "forever" until spring.

12-12-2011, 12:22 PM
Come south, we have good fishing now! Much bigger fish too!